Ironman Chattanooga 2014 Race Report
Ironman Chattanooga 2014 – Race Report
By: Chris Nasser (Male AG 25-29)
IM Chatt was my second full distance Ironman. I registered for this race a few weeks after completing IM Louisville 2013; the ATC had slots for early registration. My cousin, twin brother, and I all grabbed a slot with the intent of racing as TEAMNASSER to be a fun event the whole family would enjoy. That was almost 1 year before race day, during the interim, a lot of changes in my life affected my racing style and what would happen that day. I was selected to be a member of the 2014 ATC Race Team, I became involved in ITL Coaching and Performance, I was coached through my training, and my cousin was involved in a bicycle accident which left him out of competing in IM Chatt (he is doing very well and actually competed in Augusta 70.3 that same day). The training experiences, support, and encouragement I experienced all year and going through the race led me to have a race that I am very of the results.
Friday started with an early ITL swim, my brother and I getting stuck in my apartment elevator for 20 minutes (with bikes and Gus, so we survived), a 40 minute trainer spin and a trip to All3Sports to get my flat tire fixed. The rest of the weekend went smoothly: I rested, went to athlete dinners, learned that the Linck Twins and the Nasser twins share the same birthday (February 9th); won a Lifeproof ipad case; and enjoyed time with my family. I really wanted for my brother to enjoy his race experience and to make this a memorable trip.
Bethany asked me what my goals were; I told her 1) sub 10hr 2) podium 3) pass people on the run 4) smile 5)Kona. She asked what I thought it would take to get to Kona, I told her a 9:40…this was right, the second slot in my AG went to a finishing time of 9:42. I remember fellow race team member Eddie seeing me holding my father's drink at the ATC pre-race dinner and he joked, "Good, keep drinking, the rest are on me." I knew then that it was time to get into "race mode" and chill.
We got back to the hotel, got everything ready (check Facebook to see pictures of my brother's pre-race humor and music video) then we went to bed.
Anthony and I got to the transition early, got set-up, then headed to the swim start where we would spend the next few hours getting ready. Family and ITL friends were there to give us encouraging words. I covered all of my potential hot spots in Slather (this was a blessing), swallowed a Salted Caramel GU 15 minutes to go time, then we were off; Anthony and I jumped in the water together.
*The rest of this report will be bullet points to make for easier reading*
No wetsuit, no top, just ATC race kit bottoms, TYR Special Ops 2.0 Small Frame goggles
I opted to wear the regular swim cap, not the AWA cap
I went wide to avoid crowds
Felt like I swam straight, the buoys were not straight
Followed bubbles when I could
Fought through crowds when I came on them
Official swim time: 51:04
Very excited about the time
Ran from the water to transition
Saw my family on the ramp going into transition
Great support in the tent
Ran barefoot to my bike, carrying shoes
The volunteer got my bike stuck on another bike; this gave me time to put on my bike cleats
Office T1 time: 4:18
Cervelo P2 w/ Shimano 105; Zipp 404/808 combo
Aero bottle w/ perform; 2 cliff bars in pieces in bento box; 6 Gus in flask upside-down in jersey pocket
I ride sockless J, but I do put baby powder in my bike cleats
No food or drink until 15 minutes into the bike
1st loop I saw a lot of drafting as strong riders passed me; including Eddie (not drafting but being drafted) at about mile 20; I was waiting for Blake thereafter but tried to keep Eddie in sight
Huge burst of energy going through Chickamauga and seeing family
I sip Perform every 5 minutes, and alternate GU and Cliff Bar Piece every 30 minutes; salt cap every hour
I only used liquids from aid stations to refill my bottle
2nd loop was more lonely; felt strong; no hot spots (thanks to the Slather)
Stomach started churning, so I switched to water rather than Perform
Lot of energy dodging cars and seeing family in Chickamauga
Last 20 miles I focused on finishing my water (no need to refill and add weight)
I was able to pee and have an easy last leg, spinning a higher cadence
Ran out of water 2 miles to the finish
Dismount was not 'pro' but I didn't fall either
Office bike time: 5:17:26
I ran into T2, handing off my bike to a nice volunteer
A great volunteer in tent did everything I asked